Union Minister and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi cited reports to claim that Amnesty International, the human rights group associated with Project Pegasus, has denied the existence of a list of possible targets for the suspected spies.
At a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, she claimed that the “fake” list is like a collection of mobile phone numbers taken from the yellow pages and used for “yellow journalism.” He was referring to news reports on suspected espionage of people, including politicians and journalists, in India and in various countries.
Amnesty International, however, said in a statement that it “categorically supports” the findings of the Pegasus Project and asserted that the data is irrefutably linked to possible targets of the Israel-based attacks. NSO GroupPegasus spyware.
Amnesty International’s comments came after some media reports citing some Israeli journalists said that the human rights group has claimed that it never said that the recently leaked phone numbers were specifically a list of numbers attacked by the Pegasus spyware.
Lekhi told reporters that 10 countries have been named as places where this spyware was used and targeted opposition parties, including Congress and TMC, which suggests that rival parties in other countries have not behaved as they have in India.
Opposition parties have stalled proceedings in Parliament, citing the Modi government’s involvement in the alleged espionage, following reports that nearly 300 mobile phone numbers, including journalists, activists, opposition leaders, and even two Indian ministers were on this list of potential spy targets for NSO It sells its Pegasus spyware only to “vetted” governments and government agencies.
He stated: “This is not a story. This is not a novelty around the world because, based on a story made up, made up and without proof, no one makes a story. Because that story itself requires falsification and defamation. The leaked data they are an offense and that creates more complications for people who base their stories on leaked data. It only happens in India. ”
“The published story is based on a list of numbers available in any directory. Second, Amnesty International has denied it. The company (NSO) that makes Pegasus has said that these claims are not substantiated and do not match its customer base. “, He said. saying.
Stating that the Pegasus dispute is linked to the report of a parliamentary commission, which was chaired by it and examined the Personal data protection invoice, said it has been submitted to the Lok Sabha chairman and is ready to be adopted by Parliament.
“Data protection will become the law of and. This is directly related to that. This is to undermine the Indian institutions that these kinds of stories are spreading,” he said.
NSO, the Israeli firm behind the spyware, has denied such a list, Amnesty International has “denied” it, and yet the opposition is disrupting Parliament, he said, claiming that such a narrative is repeatedly constructed to harm India.
The government is creating a “new ecosystem” to secure indigenous data and rights, and the dispute is bound to harm it, he added.
“These kinds of stories float to undermine Indian institutions and stop data protection that will become the law of the land. This is to desensitize the public about the credibility of the structures and smear the image of our country,” Lekhi alleged. .
When asked about the opposition’s query whether the government has used spyware, he said that any such security information is classified as the government having to deal with terrorists and Maoists.
“I cannot tell you what software I am working with. It will help terrorists. Congress must first clarify whether it is with terrorists,” he said.
When asked if the previous government could have bought him, he said these things are “beyond his salary level.” The onus for testing lies with those who have created that list, he said in response to another question.
The BJP leader also condemned the opposition for seizing papers from the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha and tearing them up when he was about to make a statement on the alleged spying dispute.
Congress and the TMC have been “lowered” to a new low, he said.